Houston Ground Angels
Tony Castiglie, Vice President and Treasurer
In my August Newsletter, I stated that July weather had been tolerable, but August is typically Houston’s hottest. The first half of the month was especially rough with several days exceeding 100 degrees.
The last half being typical. Thus far, we have escaped the hurricane season, but in Houston one never predicts the weather. Usually, around the first day of Fall, which is September 23 and formally the Autumnal Equinox, the good Lord turns on the climate switch and brings pleasant weather. How we are looking forward to it!
August was another successful month. We had 415 missions run that was by far the best August ever and far exceeding the previous record of 256 last year. It is also the only time since the organization’s inception, back in 2000, that we exceeded 400 missions in any month. This year’s daily average is 10 missions with 68 volunteers stepping up to make this happen. Uber fulfills the difficult missions, i.e. rush hour traffic, late evening runs or short notice requests. As a result, our forecast for 2019 now is up to 3,800 missions, the most ever.
Thus far, we have run 2,549 missions, 49 percent of which were run by the Archangels, our Top 10 Volunteers. They are:
Top 10 Volunteers – 2019
9. Edie Cantu 52 and
10.Bo Hunter 47
We are deeply appreciative for the dedication of all our volunteers, but take special note of Dick Stabell. Dick has averaged more than one mission a day. And how about Gerry Rein! He just joined HGA and his first mission was August 5. He has already run 70 missions. That’s more than two per day! Really special! Thank you, Dick and Gerry!
The real success of this organization has always been those select few who run lots of missions, some who have been with us for many years and have chalked up big numbers. The accumulative contribution of these volunteers are:
Total Thus Far and Still Active
Charles Whitworth 1,691
Sandra Begalke 1,101
Charles Gibson 823
Dick Stabell 651
Mary Hutto 636
Uber continues to work well. In 2018, we had 599 unfilled missions. Thus far in 2019, the unfilled mission number is 26 and just two in the past five months. Uber is used only as a last resort when a mission was not chosen by a volunteer. Remember, Mission Coordinator Mary Hutto does not contact Uber until the night before a mission is to be run. So, it is best for the volunteers to avoid waiting until the last minute to check out “Open Missions.” Volunteers are certainly more preferable than Uber.
The downside of Uber is cost. While we are applying for many grants, they will not be awarded until later on in the year. Let’s hope our efforts to seek out grants is successful. We cannot keep this up without them.
August 12, 2019
Dear Houston Ground Angels,
Johnese and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
With Christian Love,
Lugoff, South Carolina
August 15, 2019
Dear Houston Ground Angels,
Thank you very much for the rides from Hobby Airport back and forth to M.D. Anderson in May. My husband and I appreciated your generosity.
Kathy and Mary,
Thank you both so much for your patience with me and commitment to me and others like me. I’m 80 and such a problem child this time. Hopefully my October trip won’t be so erratic. You and your team are much appreciated.
August was an excellent month for new volunteers. We had five new volunteers join us. Bill Hancock (Spring), Erica DeJesus (Near Montrose), Joe D’Amico (FM1960), Ruth Hearn (FM1960) and Myisha Jenkins (West Side). Welcome aboard and thank you for joining. You will find this a very rewarding experience.
As always, to every volunteer who steps up, thank you for your contribution. 2019 is looking good! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and peace be with you.